Clergy Clatter

May 2020

Oh – have I ever learned a thing or two during this “shelter in place.” First – I don’t ever want to retire unless I go directly into a nursing home. Secondly, I really get tired of my own company. Third, I knew I was a bad cook, but I didn’t know HOW BAD! I start with a great idea and end at the trash can. When the dog and cats run and hide when I offer to share, I know I’m in trouble.

But there’s another side to all of this. I live in a big old house, part of which is 100 years old this year. That means constant projects and maintenance. Paint pops off if I look at it. Ceilings crack when the garbage truck dumps its cans. With four toilets, one is always running at 2 o’clock in the morning, when it shouldn’t. My point is, I have no shortage of projects to keep me entertained. So each day, I make a list of “to do projects”. I have the time. I have the will. I have the materials. But guess what! My projects remain just nagging anxieties. The list is not getting any shorter. I get in bed at night and try to figure out why I didn’t get that little thing fixed. What was I doing? I didn’t spend that much time on Facebook. I didn’t get any worthwhile reading done. I still haven’t finished my taxes. What is the problem?

Someone commented that this virus, with its forced adjustments to our routines and life styles, has disoriented us. We’re not sure how to function in our space and time. We want to be with our friends – go to performances, go to church, go to the barber, etc. And we’re not really sure who we are without those little touchstones.

That is certainly my situation. I am not suffering. I am not in pain. I know it is going to end. I am not anxious about it. Since I live alone, I’m used to my own company. But this is different. This is imposed on us – kind of like a kid being sent to his room. And I don’t like that.

But there are some positive elements to this. Traffic is down. I got a nice rebate on my car insurance. My friends, and family, and church members, and staff have remained healthy, as of this writing. They are in my prayers constantly. I’ve learned to use Zoom. That’s a major accomplishment for an old timer. I’ve found new ways to stay connected. I’m making it work.
I am convinced that we will come out of this a better and stronger people, and a better and stronger church. I miss so much being with you for worship and other activities. If I ever took my church for granted, I never will again. New appreciations are all over the place in my life. Let’s keep all of our folks in our prayers and thoughts as we move through this time together.

Amen.

Richard+

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